Satire: Short Takes
15 minutes ago
Perhaps the most unexpected beneficiaries of same-sex marriage will be state economies. The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) reports that extending marriage to gay couples brings tourism, spending on weddings and licensing fees. Same-sex marriage in Iowa, UCLA predicted last year, would bring $5.3m to state coffers and $53m to state businesses. These hard times could use a bit more cash and celebration.
[A]s anyone who has participated in a Passover Seder (literally, "order") knows, it is an experience of a different kind, an ordered retelling of the passage from slavery to freedom unfolding through symbolic reminders of every individual's responsibility to carry forward the freedom we inherited from prior generations.Of course, that's also a pretty good definition of the Christian mass, or Holy Eucharist, which has indeed been celebrated at the White House. But it was about time for a Seder meal as well.
The polarization being touted by Rove and Wehner and Gerson and the rest of the Bush left-overs is almost entirely a function of Obama's astonishing popularity among Dems, buoyancy among Independents (whose approval rating is very close to the national average), and extremely polarized and shrinking pool of Republicans. To interpret that as Obama's fault, rather than a function of GOP extremism and disaffection, whipped up by Fox and Drudge and Pajamas and the rest of that machine, is, well, Rovian. But it is a reminder of what alone can keep the Bush-Rove GOP alive: the same old, ancient culture war debate that Obama offers us a chance to move past. They will do all they can to keep dividing this country until they see some signs of progress for their operation. That's all they've got.
[Prime Minister] Hun Sen was a mid-level Khmer Rouge commander, though there is apparently no evidence that he committed major crimes. Several ranking members of his ruling party and the military are also former members of Khmer Rouge.Oh, we get it. The government lies about or covers up recent history. No wonder younger people are ignorant. But if Nazis had been in the German government in the 1970s and were covering up the Holocaust, is this the kind of story we'd be reading?
Because of these cross-currents in recent Cambodian history, the Khmer Rouge period has not been taught in school...
The history of the “war on cancer” shows that this is an issue where bipartisan solutions are within elected officials’ grasp. In 1937, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed legislation that received the support of every senator to establish the National Cancer Institute. The National Cancer Institute Act not only created the first federal cancer-fighting agency but also called for better coordination of cancer research, the purchase and distribution of much-needed radium to hospitals, and an education campaign designed to raise awareness about the need for early detection.
Four decades later, Republican Richard Nixon built on FDR’s legacy when he increased the federal commitment to cancer research. He declared that America should muster the “federal will” and provide the “federal resources” that could be used to launch a “campaign against cancer.”
While FDR’s and Nixon’s efforts have not resulted in a cure for cancer, it is clear that federal support for cancer research has saved the lives of thousands of Americans through the decades.
While politics is not without norms and standards, it must reflect the nature of the human species as self-interested and passionate as well as reasonable--and as capable of destruction as well as cooperation. Political norms and standards must also take into account the distinctive difficulties of collective action and the means sometimes needed to enforce compliance. If we look at political life from too high an altitude, we can no longer see it as it is.
In this groundbreaking book, renowned investigative writers Len Colodny and Tom Shachtman chronicle the surprising evolution of the neoconservative movement—from its birth as a rogue insurgency in The Nixon White House through its ascent to full and controversial control of America’s foreign policy in the Bush years. The Forty Years War documents the neocons’ undermining of the Nixon White House, their success at halting détente during the Ford and Carter years, their uneasy alliance with Ronald Reagan, and their determination to eventually take the U.S. all the way to Baghdad.
Shares of Ford Motor Co. soared 16 percent Monday after the company said it completed tender offers that will reduce its debt by 38 percent and shave millions of dollars off its interest costs.
Igor N. Shcherbak, the Russian deputy envoy, said that his country did not think it was a violation of the resolutions banning ballistic missiles, but he added that Russia was still studying the matter.
In 1932, when writer Flannery O’Connor was a five-year-old girl living in Savannah, Georgia, the press heard about a chicken on her family farm that walked backwards. It was the Depression, so editors were looking for upbeat stories. Perhaps we can sympathize in these difficult times for our nation and world and especially for many of those we love.
So a newsreel photographer came all the way from New York to see if he could get the chicken to perform on camera while Flannery stood by wearing her best dress. It defied them all day until finally, late in the afternoon, it walked a few steps backward and ran into a bush.
While Flannery never saw the resulting newsreel, the chicken and the photographer’s visit had a profound affect on her. She talked about them repeatedly. Her short stories and novels are full of images of backward motion. One character, she even wrote, was “going backwards to Bethlehem.”
I know just how he felt. Sometimes I’d rather look back to the birth of our LORD than contemplate the rough work of Holy Week, when we try to immerse ourselves in the experience of his betrayal, suffering, and death.
In nature’s cycle of new life -- the warmth of the springtime sun, the splashes of color in our gardens and on freeway medians -- we may experience a foretaste of the forever-life won for us by Christ’s rising. But just as we can’t get there by returning to perfect Christmas innocence, we can’t detour around Calvary and head straight for the empty tomb. First we have to climb up, touch the wood of the Cross, remember, and grieve.
So please join us for as many of our Holy Week services as you can this year. Let us go forward together through the valley of the shadow of death and then stand together at Easter in the light of Resurrection.
[I]n his first real taste of diplomacy, Obama is finding out that, like in domestic politics, the gushing praise that other leaders may bestow doesn’t necessarily translate into support for the entirety of his agenda. In other words, simply not being George W. Bush wasn’t enough.
Fr. Ashey compared the AAC to the Special Forces of the U.S. military.
“Like Special Forces, we go behind the scenes and we blow up things,” he said, adding quickly that what the AAC blows up is principalities and powers.
The Stones themselves come off more or less as you’d expect: Jagger is mercurial and imperious; Richards is down-to-earth, wild and soulful; Wood, still slightly insecure as the “new kid” in the band, compensates by being the most social; and Charlie Watts is so private and detached that he proved constantly elusive.
The stunning shift in consumer preferences that should make the White House's freshly minted auto experts feel vulnerable has been reported under headlines such as "Like a Rock: Hybrid Car Sales Plummet" (Wall Street Journal, Dec. 9) and "Hybrid Car Sales Go from 60 to 0 at Breakneck Speed" (Los Angeles Times, March 17). Absent $4 gasoline, customers, those nuisances with their insufferable preferences, do not want the vehicles the politicians want them to want, even with manufacturers now offering large rebates and other incentives.If Ford can ride out the recession without government subsidy, it will be interesting to see how it fares in the long term, in comparison with its tw0 dole-full competitors, without Washington telling it what kinds of cars to build.
The two best-selling vehicles in America this year are large pickup trucks (Ford F-Series and Chevy Silverado). In February, Toyota sold 13,600 Tundra and Tacoma pickups and 7,232 Priuses. It sells the Prius at a loss, which it can afford to do because it makes pots of money selling pickups. Has the Car Designer in Chief, aka the president, considered the possibility that what he calls "the cars of tomorrow" will forever be that?
[I]t grew out of an attempt during the George W. Bush years in the White House to “rehabilitate the image of [former President] Richard Nixon. It struck me, what would it mean to really rehabilitate Richard Nixon.”
So he wrote a song, in the first person, about Nixon reincarnated as a black, single mother trying to make it in a white world.
“It’s kind of a personal song,” he said, “and it’s not, really, that dark.” He said he may play it in the Aspen show.